I’m grateful to the craft beer and spirits industry teaching me to slow down, engage and really appreciate the people I’m fortunate enough to meet. This Beervangelist Flavor Expedition to southern France is inspired by this very lesson. Last fall, I had the pleasure to meet Kate Hill of Kitchen at Camont and Dominique Chapolard, a renown French Butcher at a butchery workshop in Traverse City, Michigan. As our time together unfolded, I learned about butchery and charcuterie, but then at some point the specific lessons morphed into a less specific admiration and casual mentorship. I sensed the beauty and grace in their
approach to both food and business. I realized that these two people respected food and process in a beautiful way, and if I slowed down to soak it all in, I would be better for it. We continued our bonding over a paired beer dinner which I hosted, and before our three day workshop was half over, I was envisioning traveling to Gascony to spend more time with them.
David and I have been daydreaming about a European Beervangelist trip for a number of years. We’ve cohosted local events, and shared countless stories of food and drink inspiration. You might expect that our first Beervangelist Flavor Expeditions would be in a traditionally famous beercentric culture, like Belgium, England or Germany - and I assure you they were discussed. However, Kate and Dominique lit a spark that has driven me to connect on a deeper level to the epicurean traditions of the southern French countryside,
and share them with as many people as I can.
So, we set our course to Gascony - a remarkable place where traditional & sustainable methods meet naturally delicious & indulgent food and drink. These are ideals most of us are seeking to reclaim from a forgotten generation, yet they are woven into the idyllic culture of the French countryside, as they have never left.
Their craft beer culture is lesser known, but in the exciting early stages of a renaissance.
We’ll explore flavor and culture widely, tasting and learning about beer, wine, armagnac, charcuterie, butchery & more, while we cook and eat with the local harvest. While we will undoubtedly cover a lot of ground, we are also mindful to allow time and space to soak it all in, as the French traditions encourage us all to avoid rushing a meal or a drink.
I invite you to join us on our very first Beervangelist Flavor Expedition, arranged by the talented and worldly, David Geen of Villas and Vines. I promise a visit to a limitlessly flavorful world, where we can Stop & Taste, indulging in the unhurried meal. I believe we’ll all return home with a deeper connection to everything we choose to eat and drink, home and away.
New Holland Brewing Company
Craft Beer & Spirits